K-drama actor Lee Jae-wook and Aespa’s Karina split up
K-drama actor Lee Jae-wook and Aespa’s Karina split up Image Credit: Instagram/ Karina and Lee Jae-wook

South Korean actor Lee Jae-wook and K-pop idol Karina from the girl group Aespa have officially called it quits. The couple, whose relationship stirred controversy, parted ways just five weeks after publicly announcing their relationship in February.

The agencies of both the stars released official statements this week, confirming speculative reports about their breakup.

According to multiple South Korean entertainment reports, a representative from Jae-wook’s agency C-JeS Studios, confirmed: “Lee Jae-wook decided on the breakup in order to focus on the project he is currently filming. The two decided to remain as colleagues who support each other.... Please show lots of warm interest and support.”

Karina’s agency, SM Entertainment, also stated: “It is true they broke up.”

While it’s said that the reason for the breakup was to focus on their individual careers, it is also known that the pair were suffering from hateful comments online from fans.

Some fans, allegedly, even sent a message board truck to Karina’s workplace, displaying a note criticising her for the relationship.

The couple were forced to issue an apology for drawing their fans into the controversy.

Karina took to Instagram to post an apology letter to her disappointed fans who initiated a boycott trend against her over the dating news.

According to the South Korean media outlet Dispatch the two reportedly grew closer after attending the Prada show at Milan Fashion Week in January of this year, and continued to see each other after returning to Seoul.

Their breakup has sparked discussions about the lack of privacy for celebrities in South Korea and the intense fan culture that can often affect the mental health of stars.

On the professional front, Lee Jae-wook is currently impressing fans with his intense role in the family succession K-drama ‘The Impossible Heir’. The 25-year-old actor skyrocketed to fame with his role as a mage in the 2022 fantasy drama, ‘The Alchemy of Souls’.

Born on May 10, 1998, he made his debut in 2018 and became popular with his role in the drama Extraordinary You. He was also seen in the popular series Memories of the Alhambra, in which he worked opposite K-drama star Hyun Bin and played Marco Han, a hacker. Jae-wook went on to act in K-drama series such as Search: WWW, When the Weather is Fine, and Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol.

The actor will next be seen in ‘Hong Rang’, scheduled to premiere on Netflix in early 2024. The period mystery set in Joseon era promises a huge star cast like Jo Bo-ah and Kim Jae-Wook.

As for Aespa, the girl group will be embarking on a world tour this year, and is expected to make a comeback in May.